This project consists of a case study of professional nurses who live in three regions of Chile and who work in public and private institutions. In this qualitative research I examined how the Chilean, South American, and global contexts influenced nurses'' perceptions of the nursing profession in 2002. Participants included professional nursing educators, nursing students, nursing leaders, and nurses in practice in Chile. Criteria designed by Turner and Hodge (1970) were used to determine the extent to which nursing is a profession in Chile. Critical and feminist theories, postmodernism, and poststructuralism were the theoretical lenses that I used to analyze the data. The findings reveal that professional nurses in Chile have been affected by external and internal forces that have limited their effort to achieve autonomy. From a historical, regional, and global perspective, the position of professional nurses has been influenced by the increasing privatization of health and education sectors related to structural adjustments advocated by World Bank policies. Key issues related to credentialing, such as licensure and registration, to clarity in nursing roles in practice.